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560Dennis

Barn Swallows maneuverability in Close to Tractor Mowing

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Don’t know if you have had the pleasure to see this sight, but I’ve marveled at how they maneuver so close to me on the tractor mowing down hay. 
I think for me , it takes the boredom out of the task to just watch them go about that . Take time out from talking to myself 🤷‍♂️😂🤣 

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I used to hay a meadow that had three bumble bee nests in it. Anytime I drove over their nest (hole in the ground) they would come boiling out and chase me. Got stung a few time and sure looked like a madman flailing my arms and  swatting at them. (The old wives tale about sit perfectly still and they won't sting you is ROAD APPLES!) 

I even hung a tennis racket on my rake and mower tractors.

Barn swallows would show up and pick them out of the air. Looked like the dog fight seen in Top Gun

Didn't take the bees long to hunt their hole. 

Loved watching them go after all the flying critter bugs I would kick up in the meadows.

You are right, they are very acrobatic and helps the time go by. 

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Yes they are on location any type of mowing I do. Some seem to almost stop along side my head sometimes. Crows most times wait until I stop mowing before moving in. Hawk was around one year that would swoop down in the field  and find something and wouldn't hardly move out of the tractors way unless right on it.

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the purple martins are amazing to watch too after mowing - swallows and bats are very acrobatic!!!! would love to see them in a head to head competition - saw a hawk try to take down a hen pheasant once when hunting while flying - that was a sight to behold - Pheasant got away it was awesome - I dont miss the bumbles while mowing with the deere/sickle - been stung many times - i found it was less painful to abandon the tractor/mower and run - they got tired of stinging the tractor and i could go back n get on and leave with only a few stings vs trying to escape on the tractor - a B Deere is not fast for a getaway vehicle - I could keep up with forest gump with a bee on my tail

funny you mention racquets for them, never thot of that but dont think i will go try it for the novelty, we use badminton racquets around here for those darn carpenter bees, never been stung by one of them or a mud dobber in all my years of swinging at them 

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Had some Barn Swallows build in one of my Blue Bird box  they raised 5. First time I ever saw them build in a box

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2 hours ago, searcyfarms said:

they got tired of stinging the tractor

seemed to go for the muffler first, heat seeking bumble bees I guess😜

tennis rackets were a little awkward but all I had. Something with a shorter handle if it is exists would be better. 

But like you said, best defense is to do your best impression of Usain Bolt😆

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Small racket with a 9v battery. Bugs sound like a fire cracker when they cross the wires 👹. Once took a 12 gauge after a nest of ground bees (it’s what I had with me). Never got stung. 

BDAFAA20-EF2E-4A40-B223-734134301E49.jpeg

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I love watching swallows dive at cats. If I could just figure out how to attach talons to their feet.  Level the playing field.

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26 minutes ago, sandhiller said:

seemed to go for the muffler first, heat seeking bumble bees I guess😜

tennis rackets were a little awkward but all I had. Something with a shorter handle if it is exists would be better. 

But like you said, best defense is to do your best impression of Usain Bolt😆

RACKET BALL RACKET.

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4 minutes ago, DOCTOR EVIL said:

RACKET BALL RACKET.

LOL         GOT IT THANK YOU😄

 

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Dad bought the Purple Martin legend hook, line, and sinker. Built two 2-story houses, then built 2-3 more single story houses from scratch. Every Martin house pole had a sparrow trap, and they got emptied regularly. We maybe got 1 or 2 pair of Martin's a year.  The bare bird house pole and a 410 would have reduced the sparrow population quicker.  The old stone farm house we lived in in rural Freeport, Illinois had dozens of pairs of BATS in the attic. You had fo get 400-500 feet from the house to find ANY flying insect. 2-1/2 years we lived there and I never got a single mosquito bite.  But the aerobatics of swallows while mowing are amazing, they swoop and dive something amazing. But I think bats can out maneuver them, they just don't fly as fast.  I've seen bats around the house we've lived in the last 24 years, I was going to put bat houses up, think the neighbor behind us has 4-5 bat houses. I'm not sure we have a large enough pond to attract bats near enough, it's over a half mile away.

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1 hour ago, Sledgehammer said:

Small racket with a 9v battery. Bugs sound like a fire cracker when they cross the wires 👹. Once took a 12 gauge after a nest of ground bees (it’s what I had with me). Never got stung. 

BDAFAA20-EF2E-4A40-B223-734134301E49.jpeg

We have a couple of those in my house.  Kinda fun to zap them.

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5 hours ago, sandhiller said:

I used to hay a meadow that had three bumble bee nests in it. Anytime I drove over their nest (hole in the ground) they would come boiling out and chase me. Got stung a few time and sure looked like a madman flailing my arms and  swatting at them. (The old wives tale about sit perfectly still and they won't sting you is ROAD APPLES!) 

I even hung a tennis racket on my rake and mower tractors.

Barn swallows would show up and pick them out of the air. Looked like the dog fight seen in Top Gun

Didn't take the bees long to hunt their hole. 

Loved watching them go after all the flying critter bugs I would kick up in the meadows.

You are right, they are very acrobatic and helps the time go by. 

I have got the worst wearing black 🙏clothing anything in the field the bugs go for black first . I seen with my niece in a group of three she was the only one wearing black. 
I got seven times in evening plowing with the 560 and I got hit buy ground bees seven times , was lucky to make it back to the house , way way . That time I was lucky I reacted ,to them ,Having trouble making the last little bit , never reacted to before,  I guess is the control limit for me ,praise the lord 🙏
moral Do not wear black anything in the fields ,they gotcha .

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They follow me mowing too.  Yesterday there was 2 dive bombing and tormenting the porch cat as it was walking along.😁

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Smart cat ,easy mouse ,easy mouse yummy 

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We get the bald eagles going after field mice.  They are graceful and powerfull.

..till thwy are on ground.  Inalmost ran one over other day since couldnt hop out of way fast enough.  Fell over gawking at me!

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